Mauritius

Mauritius

  • About Mauritius

    Mark Twain once said that heaven was based on Mauritius. If you visit you will see why. This is the archetypal tropical island paradise surrounded by sandy beaches, blue lagoons, lush forest, clean streams, waterfalls and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Not forgetting those clear blue seas and coral reefs. The island is certainly a heaven on earth for deep sea fishing, water sports, snorkelling, swimming, sun bathing and diving.

  • Geography

    Mauritius lies east of Madagascar just south of the Equator. Mauritius is located approximately 2000 kilometres to the south eastern coast of Africa. The island is 45km in width and 65km in length and holds 330 km of coastline.

  • Places

    Black River Gorges

    National Park of 6,574 hectares created in 1994 for the protection of Mauritius' remaining native forests. Visitors can enjoy magnificent landscapes full of tropical plants and rare bird species.

    Domaine du Chasseur

    Nestling in the Anse Jonchée hills, the Domaine des Grand Bois covers an area of 900 hectares. Stags, monkeys and boars live amidst the lush vegetation. Endangered birds to be seen include the kestrel.

    Dutch Ruins

    At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlements in Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Excavation work is underway to explore this part of Mauritian history.

    Grand Bay

    The first area of the island to fully experience the tourist bonanza. Mauritians head here for the restaurants, bars and discos. La Cuvette beach is a highlight.

    Balaclava Ruins

    17th century sailors named the area after the local tortoises. The old Balaclava estate includes ancient sea walls.

    L'Aventure du Sucre Museum

    Museum in the former Beau Plan sugar factory tells the story of sugar, slavery and the rum trade. Includes sugar-tasting session and visit to the stylish restaurant.

  • Accommodation and Resorts

    Mauritius is the perfect destination for a relaxing holiday. The island is sheltered by barriers of coral reefs forming natural, safe, crystal clear lagoons. There are a wide choice of superb hotel accomodations, beach villas and tasteful resort complexes throughout the island as well as smaller family holiday bungalows. From June to September and during the Christmas period it is best to make reservations well in advance. The island's main resorts are along the coastline with the capital Port Louis on the west coast being the main centre for many visitors. The bulk of the island's population live on the central plateaux around the town of Curepipe.

  • Climate

    Mauritius' climate is pleasant throughout the year. Summers stretch from November to April with temperatures reaching 34 Centigrade on the coast. Humidity is highest from December to April but this is always manageable, especially in the coastal regions where there is a constant breeze. Cyclones, strong winds and heavy rain can occur between January and March. During winter there is still plenty of sunshine and it s a particularly nice time to visit.

  • Travel

    Air Mauritius operates over 30 weekly flights to and from all the European major cities including 15 combined flights with Air France to and from Paris. British Airways and Emirates are other regular flights. The island is also a destination for cruise ships. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is near Mahébourg in south east Mauritius on the opposite side of the island from Port Louis. Express buses travel between the capital and Mahébourg several times a day taking at least two hours to Port Louis. Air Mauritius also flies to sister island Rodrigues daily (90 minutes). Helicopter tours, public buses, car, motorbike, boat and bicycle hire are other alternatives.

  • History

    Mauritius has long been a sought after destination for many cultures. Known to the Arabs as early as the 10th century in 1505 the Portuguese claimed the island which was successively occupied by the Dutch, the French and finally Great Britain in 1814 following the Treaty of Paris. Mauritius became Independent in 1968.

  • Culture

    Most people in Mauritius are bilingual English and French speakers. Creole and French are the main languages in the everyday use and several oriental languages are also spoken. Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions and this is reflected in the number of festivals throughout the year. The Divali Festival of Lights in either October or November is one such example and is an especially joyful festival. Small clay lamps line walls, steps and balconies and they are lit at sunset. Their golden light is said to guide the Goddess of wealth and good fortune away from darkness.

  • Key Facts

    • Full Name - Republic of Mauritius
    • Capital - Port Louis
    • Population - 1,200,000
    • Time Zone - GMT 4
    • Languages - English and French (Main), Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri
    • Main Religions - Hindu, Christian, Muslim
    • Currency - Mauritius Rupee